Strong second half advances Weiser in District play

Lucy Hickey (12) working hard on defense helped get multiple steals and stops for the Wolverines in their district tournament win over Homedale. Kailee Lerew (2), Kendall Rynearson (33), Trista Buescher (11), and Hailey Eames (15) are also in the picture. Photo by Michelle Estes
Michelle Estes
The Weiser Wolverines and Homedale Trojans faced off in the first round of the SRV District Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 1. The winner would move on to the semi-finals, while the loser would drop to the consolation side and would need to win the next two games to earn a chance to play in the State Play-in game on Saturday, Feb. 10. 
 Initially, it seemed like Homedale was going to come out on top and advance to the next round, while Weiser would have to settle for a spot in the consolation bracket. However, the Wolverines fought hard and managed to come out on top with a 58-53 victory.
 The game started with both teams scoring on their first possession. But soon after, Homedale started to pull ahead and ended the first quarter with a 10-point lead. At the end of the first quarter, the score was Weiser 9, Homedale 19.
 During the second quarter, Weiser struggled to score for the first two and a half minutes, while Homedale increased their lead to 16 points. Hailey Eames was the first to score for Weiser with a rebound putback. Thirty seconds later, Ellie Shirts found Kailee Lerew on the wing for a 3-point bucket.
 Homedale remained hot and had an answer for everything Weiser’s defense threw at them. The Wolverines managed to reduce the Trojan lead, but Homedale would always find a way to make a couple of baskets. By halftime, Weiser was down by 16 points, with the score at 22-38.
 The Wolverines won the third quarter. It all started with Weiser’s first possession, as Shirts found Evie Dolton open, and she cut to the basket for an easy 2 points. Two and a half minutes later, Weiser scored again when Dolton passed the ball to Kendall Rynearson at the wing for a 3-pointer. Eames soon followed with a baseline out-of-bounds play for an open lay-in. The Wolverines scored again in another out-of-bounds play when Lucy Hickey made a bucket. 
 With 3:07 remaining in the third quarter, Weiser was still trailing by 12 points, with the score standing at 33-45 in favor of Homedale. However, in the final two minutes of the quarter, the Wolverines, under the direction of Coach Harrison, showed their confidence as they flustered the Trojans by putting strong defensive pressure on them and converting on offense. With two buckets from Eames and a bucket and a 3-pointer from Rynearson, Weiser ended the quarter with momentum. The score was 42-47 in favor of Homedale.
 The Wolverines continued their run in the fourth quarter, with two minutes in, Lerew found Rynearson in the corner for a 3-pointer, bringing Weiser to within 1 point. Thirty seconds later, Rynearson got the ball to Hickey on the block for 2 points, and Weiser took the lead for the first time all night with 5:28 remaining. However, a minute later, Homedale regained a 1-point lead with two made free throws. It was short-lived when Shirts drove into the paint, drawing a foul. At the line, Shirts made both shots, giving Weiser the lead back.
 In the final minutes of the game, Lerew had a steal and then drove the length of the court for a contested lay-in. Shirts picked up a steal and passed it up to Lerew for another lay-in, making it 54-50 in Weiser’s favor. With just over a minute to go, Shirts gained an assist with a pass to Dolton on the baseline for an easy bucket. Homedale added a free throw and a bucket of their own. With 46 seconds remaining, the Wolverines had possession of the ball after the Trojans made their bucket. The score was Weiser 56, Homedale 53.
 After a Weiser timeout, a Homedale foul, a Weiser missed shot, a Homedale rebound, and a Weiser steal, Dolton ended up with the ball just outside of the key and drained a bucket, putting Weiser up by 5 at the end of the game. 
 The Wolverines stayed focused on their goal, helping them come away with a hard-fought 58-53 win over the Trojans. 
 Dolton led Weiser with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Rynearson and Shirts each added 11 points, Eames had 10, Lerew with 7, and Hickey had 4 points. Shirts also had 6 rebounds.
 Scores at the end of quarters:
Weiser Homedale
1st: 9 19
2nd: 22 38     
3rd: 42 47
4th: 58 53


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Weiser, ID 83672
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